(Read Chapter one HERE)
In the soft quiet of intimacy that followed his explanation, Grace wandered partway down the center row of stalls. She stopped at one at the end and stared. “You have a goat tied here.”
A ribald bleat followed her observation.
Corbeau barely glanced up. Grace was sensible. She’d keep a good distance from an intact male animal. “That’s Sebastian.”
“Oughtn’t he to be in the barn?”
“He has to be minded at all times because he eats everything.”
“Don’t most goats?”
“Sebastian puts his brethren to shame.”
“I see. Well, that explains why the rope has been gnawed.”
“What?” He leaned the fork against a structural support beam and, taking the lantern, joined her at the far end. Sure enough, the damned beast had chewed most of the way through the rope that tethered him in the stall. Much longer and he’d have freed himself.
Corbeau cut a new length and retied Sebastian’s restraint. They’d have to devise a new way of keeping the ropes out of reach of the goat’s mouth, but he’d worry about that later.
He was about to resume his original task when the gray cat that slept atop the bales of straw hopped down from the upper beams, ignored him, and, tail high, headed straight for Grace with a purposeful trot, his sleek fur gleaming in the lantern light.
She set her cup down on a ledge—her empty cup, he was grati ed to note—and bent to offer her hand. “Hello, there. She doesn’t appear to have missed many mice, does she?”
“What’s her name?”
“It’s a tomcat and he doesn’t have one. He’s gelded, of course, to keep his mind on his work here rather than overpopulating the park with his offspring.”
“The goat has been named, but the cat has not?” Her brows crossed. “That doesn’t seem right.”
“It’s easier to curse things when you can call them out by name.”
The feline was purring so loudly under Grace’s generous ministrations, the sound almost echoed. Cats, like chocolate, were nothing of which a man should be jealous. Even when the man was him and the woman was Grace.